In 1975, the world changed forever when Tim Curry put on thigh-high stockings, a corset and branded himself with a heart tattoo. At the time, no one knew what would rise up from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” But now, 41 years later, Fox has released the remake: “Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do The Time Warp Again.”
Since 1975, the cult classic has continued to screen in theaters to this day, making it the longest-running theatrical release. This is mostly credited to the fact that RHPS is one of the very few films that invites audience participation — and its this participation that has kept the film going.
Because I am not a RHPS virgin, meaning someone who has never seen a midnight live screening of the film, I understood the route that FOX was trying to take. But they failed miserably.
“The cast, headed by ‘Orange Is the New Black’s’ Laverne Cox as a legitimately transgender Dr. Frank-N-Furter, works really to both replicate and improve upon the original romp, but the big, exaggerated expressions on their faces seem to self-consciously ask, ‘Are we doing it right? Is this how it goes?’” said Hank Stuever, TV critic for The Washington Post.
And that was the largest problem with the film. FOX tried far too hard to recreate RHPS, instead of creating their own take on the film. It seemed like they wanted to bring audience participation onto the big screen in some “Inception”-like meta-movie. But instead, they brought actors who felt forced to mimic the roles of their predecessors from 41 years ago rather than create their own.
It also doesn’t help that the film experiences the same problem of the original: a lackluster second half. In the original, the audience is given the opportunity to make fun of how slow and drawn out the second half is, which keeps their attention. However, in the remake, there is little there, which just creates this awkward moment where you’re begging for the film to end only out find there’s still 45 minutes left.
One redeeming factor of the film was its commercials. This sounds like a real low blow, but one of the commercials was a backstage look at the makeup design for the movie. This is one difference that FOX brought to the screen. Anyone who was in red was meant to hail from Transexual, Transylvania, while anyone in blue was an Earthling. Without ruining the movie, this made for interesting observations based on what each character was wearing.
Overall, just go watch the original at midnight with a live performance and audience. It’s much better. Overall, I’d have to give the remake 1 Wildcat Paw out of 5.